Thursday, February 22, 2018

When Kinky Scenes Go Wrong



Please post a reflection about what happens when bad scenes do happen to Tops.
Because we will all experience them at one point or another. So having a conversation on how to navigate that situation might be useful to some people.
It would be great to learn about how you "defuse the bomb" and how you have handled interactions after a bad scene.



It happens to everyone. When fully-agreed-upon kinky play goes right off the road and into a ditch. There are a zillion ways that this can happen. Life would be SO much like really good porn if every scene was successful, right?

We can TRY to head off any problems by meeting at a neutral, public space, such as a coffee-house. Once there, we chat, negotiate and size each other up.

We sit over coffee, with our Bullshit Detectors operating at full crank, so that we can listen to our intuition, and see if both sides can comprise a good match for each others’ desires, needs and wants.

Even so, we can’t always predict how things go... maybe inexperience, shyness or bravado keep us from asking key questions that could head-off potential issues.

Alternatively, no matter how carefully we share information during negotiations, something can always go wrong. In writing this, I am assuming that both parties are of good will and solid character. Obviously, the alternatives are far too numerous for me to cover in a whole series of books.

LAND MINES

The two of you have met, sized each other up, negotiated, and arrived together for a scene.  Play commences, and suddenly, one or both of you realize that IT. JUST. ISN'T. WORKING.

I have talked about this before, somewhere in these many hours of Men's Discussions.

I will summarize:

"Land Mines" are a slang term, and a real possibility in kinky play.  Let's say that the bottom is getting flogged, and suddenly experiences a traumatic flashback to when Mom spanked them, or when a bully tickled them so unmercifully that they peed their pants, and that was a NASTY memory.

Out comes the primal, hard-wired "Fight, Flight or Freeze" response.

Suddenly, the scene changes in an unexpected, unpleasant direction.  The sub can curl up in a ball on the floor, and stop talking.  That's "Freeze".

Or, they can become ferociously angry, and wants to punch the Top.  "Fight" response.

Or, they end the scene, RIGHT NOW, and leave in a hurry.  Obviously, "Flight".

Whether or not a scene that goes suddenly wrong fits easily into the previous premise, how we respond as Tops is what speaks for our character.

RESPONSIBILITY

We can head-off the likelihood of bad scenes by giving a stern lecture about safewords to the sub before any play commences.  Yes, the Top has responsibilities, but so does the sub.

If the sub makes a decision to clam up and go all stoic, then there is no possibility of a two-way Power Flow between the two parties, and this can be a downer, and a nearly-certain likelihood of misunderstandings.

Conversely, if the sub is a "Traffic Cop", directing and micro-managing everything in the scene, then that is the exact opposite of ecstatic pleasure.  Desire does not show up well in the world of logic.

Building a flow during a power-play scene comes from shifting flexibly from moment to moment, finding ways to sync with each other.  Others may disagree, and that is fine.

In any case, neither play-partner has the right to complain after a scene if they have not been responsible adults all along, and staying in communication.

CHOICES FOR THE TOP

So... As Tops, how do we DEAL with a scene that has crashed and burned?  The easiest thing is to broom the sub off of our front porch, and pretend that nothing was our fault.  That's the easy way out, but it's not a very responsible reaction.

If we aspire to become wiser, higher-quality Sirs, we have to LEARN from what happened.  We have to ask what everything looks like from the other side's perspective, even if that knowledge is uncomfortable.

Let's say that we have been roasted over the coals of the sub's anger, frustration and disappointment.  We can try on the sub's perception of us, at least for a while.  We can humbly ask for more information, specifically as a way of gaining an outside perspective about ourselves.

AND...

If we know that we did our best, and that we are NOT the ravening beast that the sub makes us out to be, then it's okay to let go of any self-blame, after some serious self-appraisal and introspection.

What if their anger really, truly belongs to Dad from thirty years ago, wielding a belt of unfair punishment?

What if the sub is angry that we have frailties, flaws and vulnerabilities, unlike porn video actors?

ASKING FOR HELP

I have said this many, many times:

It takes a village to raise a high-quality Sir.

You really, truly aren't going to achieve your finest goals if you are trying to figure out all of this on your own.  Seek out Mentors, yes, but also consider having friends who are also kinky Tops, so that you can be vulnerable with each other, without ridicule.

CATHARSIS

So, what do I do, when a scene goes bad, and I step unwittingly upon a sub's personal Land Mine, causing a play-scene to veer-off into a catastrophic new direction?

I am kind, patient and open to possibility.  I make a declaration:  "I'm calling a time-out.  Let's cuddle".  They may not initially be open to that, but I can be very convincing.  So, we cuddle.

If there is anger, I ask what that is about.  I listen, and I don't argue.  I hold it in my heart that their anger does not belong to me, and that it is finally coming out in a way that can be very good for them.

If there are tears, then I hold them close, and say things like this:

"Your emotions are valuable."

"You are safe with me"

"I am honored that you trust me with your feelings"

"It is healthy to grieve"

“Give all of your sorrow to me, and I will hand it away to the universe.”

I do NOT pat them, or rub them, to distract them from their pain.  That is not valuable, and it is what our stupid culture tells us to do, to stop healthy grieving.  I just hold them, and I am fully present from moment to moment.

I let them talk, and talk, and if they say "Oh, I am talking too much", then I say "No... Keep going".

Once the tears and the talking are over, I invite them to "get back on the horse that threw them", and resume where we left off.  If that happens, in my extensive experience, then that old land mine will NEVER show up again.  The sub is cleansed of old wounds.



CATHARSIS PLAY, WITH INTENTION

I was doing a public demo, outdoors on the patio of a bar (on the same day that this occurred), and the boy started sobbing during the scene.  Just a bit, because he was trying to suppress his tears.  I brought the flogging scene to a graceful finish, and while embracing him afterward, I made an offer.

"I invite you to come back to me, in a little while.  If you can trust me, I will be your guide on a special, cleansing journey.  It is clear to me that you are ready."

He eagerly agreed, and after I did this scene, he came back to me:

I told him that he is safe with me, and that I will be fully present with him during every moment of what comes up next. I urged him to be fully self-expressed... To let old, suppressed feelings OUT.  If he wanted to please me, then he could just be totally vulnerable, and I would treasure him for it.

So, I began flogging him.  I didn't beat him mercilessly, to FORCE my way past his barriers.  Instead, I gave him words of support and overt encouragement.  Every time that he started crying, I praised him, letting him know that this made me happier.

I used the encouraging phrases that I used above, in a warm and loving tone.  I did a lot of touch during the scene, merely touching his shoulder, or the back of his neck, not rub-rub-rubbing it.

Pretty soon, he was wailing full force, and undoubtedly alarming the other men on the patio.  The Daddy holding him was crooning in his ear, and loving him throughout the scene, so nobody else interrupted the scene.

I increased the intensity as I went along, but never to an intolerable point.  I did this, because it helped him to open up, and get directly in touch with old wounds.

Afterwards, I invited other men in our crew to come up and be part of a group hug, where we supported him and loved him.  It was aftercare as a team effort.  I never asked him what pain had showed up for him.  That's not my business, unless he offers it up for me.

He was WIPED OUT, drained and sleepy afterward, so I handed him off to his Daddy for longer-term aftercare.  I heard from them both the next day, and they were ecstatic.


I just read your recent article, and I have to say that even as a sub it was very enlightening.  I'm wondering now about what can be done when scenes go bad in a physical way. For example, My Sir and I were playing, and in the scene, I learned how my minor circulation issues can be a big problem. I had my hands bound in a sort of spread eagle position as I was standing, which was really fun. However, I started to lose feeling in my hands and arms. 
Once they were free, I quickly lowered my arms, leading to a sudden loss in blood flow to my head. This made me nearly pass out, stumble over to the bathroom, and made me sick. Shortly after this, I just wanted to leave.
I'm wondering what could be done in such an instance, as a response to the side of things when plans go wrong due to unforeseen physical challenges, as well as ways to circumvent these.
If you didn’t know that it would happen, before it happened, this is clearly a Learning Moment, for all concerned.  I’m finding ALL SORTS of new, age-related issues, interfering with my own kinky play.  Not liking it, either.

Your own example is a perfect data-point to add to all future-play.  The Top should always be checking the sub’s hands and feet for coldness, indicating that circulation is not happening.  The bonds must be released, followed by massage of the affected areas, AS restrictions are released.

Just specify that news, as part of negotiations, and all should be well.  No Top wants to be known as a Bad Top, so support him in excellence with useful information, now that you know 



Please post any comments below.  This is a much richer topic than I have attempted to cover here.

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